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Choosing Home Care for People With Alzheimer’s

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 15 March 2013

Home care is a good "in-between" option for individuals with Alzheimer's who need help with basic daily tasks and self-care.The tricky thing about Alzheimer’s is the way the disease affects a person’s ability to manage simple daily tasks but does not always impact physical wellness. In other words, your father may still be physically strong; he can walk without difficulty, and his vision and hearing are still good. From the outside, he appears 100% healthy to anyone else who didn’t know he had dementia, yet he has trouble managing self-care, maybe even with the help of a spouse.

Most people want to consider a nursing home or assisted living only when it’s absolutely necessary, when there are no other options, when that daily assistance and skilled medical care is truly needed. However, with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the primary caregiver and concerned family members may need to make a decision sooner. Caregiver burnout is a risk, and if the individual with dementia lives alone, his/her personal safety could be at greater risk as well.

Home care is a good “in-between” option. At some point, the disease may advance to a point when the individual requires total care, but while there is still a level of physical health and ability, a home care provider can assist with bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, household tasks, and other non-medical — but nonetheless essential for daily living — tasks.

Learn more about home care here.

 

There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. Sarah says,

    Alzheimer’s is such an awful disease that we all wish no one could get. It is hard on all of the people involved, caregivers and the people with the disease. As you mentioned, caregivers get burned out as the disease progresses and assistance required increases. The individuals affected with the disease also are affected greatly beyond just having the disease and all that entails. During moments of clarity in the early stages, the affected individuals often question what is happening to them. They know something wrong; they know they should remember something, but just cannot for some reason or another and it confuses them.

    Home care, like you mentioned is a good option for the in-between times. This is good when the relatives of the individual are capable and willing to help care for their aging loved one.

    I do want to point out an alternative view, playing the devil’s advocate for a moment – so to speak. If the transition to total care is made so late in the disease’s progression could more damage be done to our loved ones by upsetting their comfortable routine? Meaning, could putting our loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living facility so late in Alzheimer’s stages do more harm for them by causing an upset in their comfortable routine and causing them to be upset, confused, and angry? (Potentially leading to other dangerous behavior and medical issues?) Just something to think about.

     

    on 18 March 2013 / 4:32 AM

     
  2. Sarah, thanks for your thoughtful and thorough comments. You’re absolutely right about the difficulties of Alzheimer’s for everyone involved, especially the person with the disease. Home care can be helpful in preventing caregiver burnout too, because often, home care is just one of my caregiving streams flowing in to the family.
    Thank you for sharing that alternative perspective; in fact, it inspired my morning post today! Check it out: http://www.seniorsforliving.com/blog/2013/03/18/end-of-life-care-can-come-to-you/. It could be very upsetting indeed to transition the individual late in the disease’s progression. Home care may be helpful for a time, but then, a transition may be a good idea before the disease is too advanced to make a later transition so traumatic. Unfortunately, I think that there are no easy answers with Alzheimer’s, that no transition of any kind at any time within the disease process is easy for the individual or the family members. But you make a great point and I thank you so much for expressing it here.

     

    on 18 March 2013 / 11:21 AM

     
 

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